Quality of life Spaces: wellness and the future workspace

The new Sodexo Montreal offices, designed by L’Abri and Vives St-Laurent, present their vision for the workspace of the future and puts forward the concept of Quality of Life Spaces. This design concept is based on wellness, flexibility, innovation, and the importance of the human and social character of our workplaces. It combines a dynamic organization of working environments with a minimalist and warm design, as well as special attention to the comfort and health of users. Entirely realized in 2020, the concept is proving particularly resilient to face the challenges revealed by the pandemic.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022
Second Award | Interiors Workplace (Built)

Project Name: Sodexo Montreal Offices: Quality of Life Spaces
Studio Name: L’Abri + Vives St-Laurent
Design Team: Nicolas Lapierre, Laurence Vives, Pia Hocheneder, Vincent Pasquier, Lysanne St-Laurent, Francis Martel-Labrecque
Area: 6000 ft2
Year: 2020
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Photography Credits: Raphaël Thibodeau
Other Credits:

  • Construction: Modulor
  • Client: Sodexo Canada
  • Collaborators: Möbel, EDP, Jussaume, Teknion, API, Couper-croiser, Planteca
Sodexo Montreal Offices: Quality of Life Spaces | L'Abri - Sheet1
©Raphaël Thibodeau

Identity, design and materiality

The project occupies a space within a 1908 industrial building complex overlooking the Lachine Canal in Montreal. The plan highlights the intrinsic qualities of the century-old construction and takes advantage of the high ceilings and large openings. The offices are set up on the window side, while all meeting rooms still benefit from a generous supply of natural light. The design reveals the original brick walls, mill floor and wood structure. The closed rooms are lined with felt, rugs and curtains in warmer and darker colors, providing an environment conducive to concentration. The sober yet warm design gives the project a signature both human and professional.

Sodexo Montreal Offices: Quality of Life Spaces | L'Abri - Sheet2
©Raphaël Thibodeau

Work, flexibility and innovation

The project’s spaces are declined as a series of modules offering moments to work, collaborate, concentrate, socialize, cook, meditate and learn. The open concept design encourages equality, sharing and movement. Boxed volumes for meeting rooms and focus pods punctuate the space

and increase the opportunities for different working environments. Fundamental to the project, flexibility and enhanced comfort for the users are supported by technology as to generate a dynamic environment. At the heart of the project, the large dining room and the professional kitchen serve as a multifunctional space that can be transformed during multimedia events.

Sodexo Montreal Offices: Quality of Life Spaces | L'Abri - Sheet3
©Raphaël Thibodeau

Wellness principles and biophilia

The innovative design of Sodexo Montreal offices follows standards of excellence for the health and wellness of users. The rigorous work of the design-build team puts forward the quality of air, water, light, sound and materials to create a healthy and sustainable environment. The spaces promote movement and the spirit of community. The importance of nourishment, Sodexo’s primary activity, is highlighted by the show kitchen accessible to both chefs and office staff. The principles of biophilia ensure a human and natural character to workspaces.

Sodexo Montreal Offices: Quality of Life Spaces | L'Abri - Sheet4
©Raphaël Thibodeau

The abundance of plants and daylight, the views to the outside, wood and natural colors are the basis of the design and create the distinctive portrait of the project. This concept has proven to be particularly resilient in the face of the unexpected challenges brought by the pandemic. As such, the project represents an excellent case study for the workspace of the future. A future more human, healthy, efficient, and sustainable, which reintroduces into our corporate spaces the importance of social character combined with the comfort and simplicity of the home.